That Irritating Person in Front of Me Got My Laptop Stolen

Some reports quote that as much as 500 laptops get lost on USA airports every day. Because prevention is better than cure I will give you some practical tips how to prevent the theft from happening.

Q: Why do laptops get stolen?

A: Easy, they are portable, are of a reasonable value and thieves usually get away with it.

Obviously if a laptop is not there or at least it is not visible it will not easily get stolen. This might sound a bit strange, but just watch the people at airports, with their laptop bags with Toshiba, Dell etc. clearly visible on the laptop bags. Also laptop bags have a specific shape. If possible rather use a backpack or any other kind of bag, just not a laptop bag.

Another place where many laptops get missing is at the security checkpoints.

This might sound strange but think of the following 2 things.

1 – A person usually walks through a metal detector gate which beeps at any metal objects found on a person.

2 – When hand luggage is scanned the laptop must be removed from the hand luggage. The reason for this is that the equipment cannot scan through the laptop.

Think of the following: You are in a hurry, you put your bags and the laptop on the belt, the laptop and your hand luggage goes through the machine, but in front of you is an irritating person that has to go back and forth through the gate and fumbles around with keys, coins a belt etc. Usually after 3 to 5 tries the person gets hand searched until the problematic piece of metal is found. Airport security usually do not take any chance.

In the meantime until the person in front of you has been cleared your laptop is lying there open for everybody to see and almost anybody can take it. Because airports checkpoints are usually busy it is easy for a person to take your laptop while the person in front of you hasn’t been cleared.

Sometimes 2 people work together, sometimes temptation is simply too much, in any case your laptop is gone.

What can you do about this? Well simple: Only put your things on the belt until the person in front of you has been fully cleared. Also make sure that all metal objects like coins, keys, cell phones, belts with metal buckles and yes-even paperclips are in a plastic bag in your hand luggage. Remember if you have not been cleared yet anybody can just grab your laptop. Make sure you walk through the metal detector only once.

Last but not least: prevention and cure go hand in hand together.

The prevention is to use common sense and minimize your risk.

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